BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison boys tennis team was eliminated from any post season play on Monday night as they fell to Mt. Pleasant 5-1 in preliminary substate team play.
The Hounds didn’t advance to doubles play in the first-to-five wins format as Mount Pleasant won five of the six singles matches to end the contest. Each singles match was the best 2-of- 3 sets. The Hounds were without several players including No. 1 seed Dante Seaney.
Playing at No. 1 was Johnny Hernandez who fell in straight sets to the Panther’s Ben Zihlman 2-6, 1-6. Sam Avery put up a tough fight against Mt. Pleasant’s No. 2 Ethan Weber. Weber won the first set 6-1, but Avery came back to win the second set 6-3. The third set went to a 6-6 ties before Weber put the match away with a 7-3 tiebreaker win.
At No. 3, the Hounds got on the board when Austin Krueger dropped Mt. Pleasant’s Joey Holtkamp in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
Conrad Hellman gave Elijah Plooster a run for his money at No. 4 when he took the first set 6-3. The second set went to a tiebreaker and Plooster pulled out a 7-3 win to take the set 7-6. Plooster then ran to quick 6-4 win in the third set to take the match.
The Panthers took the No. 5 and No. 6 singles matches in straight sets when Corbin Broeker downed Blake Feuerhammer 6-1, 6-2 and Nick Sandeen shut out Gage Hind 6-0, 6-0.
Hernandez and Seaney still have tennis action left as they play in the state doubles tournament May 26 – 27th at Burns Park in Waterloo.